Kilkenny & Kerry to form hurling/football alliance

One has earned a reputation as the best in the land when it comes to football, the other renowned as the best hurling has to offer.

Both Kerry and Kilkenny are the most successful teams in Gaelic Football and Hurling with a combined total of 69 all Ireland titles between and it now it seems that both this titans of Irish sport could be about to come together to help each other.

According to reports in the Kilkenny People, Kilkenny have enlisted the help of the Leinster council to help them form a partnership that would see Kerry supply to football coaches to Kilkenny with Kilkenny hurling coaches making a similar trip to Kerry.

Kilkenny have struggled to generate interest in football and with the county a breeding ground for some of the country’s finest hurlers it’s hard not to see why. The county is unique in that it is the only one of the 32 counties that doesn’t enter the All Ireland SFC and its only since 2008 they have they have featured in the National league.

They currently ply their trade in Division four of the national league and failed to win any of their eight league games in 2011, their 3-19 to 0-0 defeat at home to Leitrim, one in a long list of disappointments this year.

There were signs of improvements as the season progressed with 3-01 and 1-05 scored against Carlow and Wicklow respectively.

While Kerry meanwhile are not a Hurling powerhouse, their first and only Munster title came in 1891, they have shown a revival in the game in the last 16 years of so with that continuous improvement culminating in them winning the 2011 Christy Ring cup with a 2-21 to 2-08 win over Wicklow at Croke Park.

The revival began in the 1990’s when they claimed memorable 4-13 to 3-13 over Waterford in the Munster Championship in Walsh Park in 1993 a result they managed to better when they beat the then All Ireland champions Clare in the league in 1995.

Since then it had been a case of steady progress for the county managed by former Wexford and Cork hurler John Meyler.

The scheme is being aimed at under 14’s and under 16’s in both counties and it is hoping that to encourage the development of the game in both counties.

If the scheme is successful, who know’s we could see the next generation’s Henry Shefflin in a green and gold Jersey or even a Kilkenny version of Colm Cooper doning the famous black and yellow.

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